After a summer of renovations, Wayne French Kitchen has officially transformed into Mighty Catch, a Cajun-Creole seafood joint on the corner of Long Beach Road and Homecrest Court in Oceanside.
Wayne was open for roughly one and a half years, offering fairly affordable French cuisine in an elegant atmosphere, as well as live music on the weekends. When business slowed, owner and chef Wen Chen partnered with longtime friend and serial restaurateur Tom Lau to create something new.
“[Chen] asked what he could do to change it up,” Lau explained, “and I thought this was a good demographic for seafood.”
Lau is owner of several large food franchise locations, including Auntie Anne’s, Plaza Pizza, Halal Guys, Butcher’s Smokehouse and others. He met Chen when the two men were in their early 20s and working at a French restaurant in Manhattan. Chen became a chef, and Lau started a career in the restaurant business, but they kept in touch.
Now, their collaborative efforts have landed in Oceanside. Mighty Catch attracted people from all over to its grand opening on Aug. 29.
“While traveling down South, I fell in love with the cuisine, especially in New Orleans,” Tom said of his inspiration for Mighty Catch, which has been an idea in the works for many years. “I wanted to bring the authentic Cajun seafood I had in Louisiana to the East Coast.”
During the weekend before the grand opening, Mighty Catch hosted soft openings for friends and food critics alike. Guests enjoyed the new, casual atmosphere that put them under the sea with blue color schemes and large, roped fish net décor.
The menu comprises seafood favorites and authentic, New Orleans-style cuisine. Appetizers include hush puppies, lobster mac ‘n’ cheese, crab cakes and the spicy bang bang shrimp. Seafood entrees come in many forms: boiled, in a basket, raw, on a bun or part of a combo. Non-seafood lovers can also munch on the regular mac ‘n’ cheese, roasted brussel sprouts, ribeye steak, chicken tenders or salads.
Oceanside’s Mighty Catch will start a chain reaction, Lau said. It is just the first location of a few more he has planned, including one in Manhattan to open in October and another in Philadelphia.
To learn more about Mighty Catch, visit mightycatch.com or call the restaurant at (516) 806-2188.